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Immediate return of refugees impossible: Afghan envoy

Immediate return of refugees impossible: Afghan envoy

Jan 11, 2018 - 10:37

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The immediate return of around two million Afghan refugees from different parts of Pakistan to their homeland is a near-impossibility, says an Afghan diplomat.

Afghan Consul General Prof. Moen Marastiyal stressed the need for evolving an effective mechanism for the voluntary repatriation of all Afghans to their country with honour and dignity.

Speaking to journalists in Peshawar on Wednesday, he said the Afghan government had taken measures for the resettlement of refugees. But the repatriation should take place in phases to avoid complications, he suggested.

Committed to providing residential, education and healthcare facilities to the returnees, the envoy argued, Kabul would find it hard to meet the needs of the repatriated Afghans.

Marastiyal noted the federal cabinet had asked the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) during its last meeting to prepare modalities and strategy for the voluntary return of Afghan nationals.

Earlier, addressing a condolence reference in the memory of Pak-Afghan Peoples Forum founder Alamzeb Khan, the consul general said Kabul and Islamabad to make joint efforts to restore peace and boost the region’s economy,

Confronted with common challenges, the neighbours needed to strengthen cooperation on dealing with threats to their stability. Greater people-to-people contacts would help resolve issues between the two countries, he believed.

Peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan was in the best interest of the entire region, he said, urging the neighbours to develop cordial relations, including trade and economic links.

Members of civil society, political workers, lawyers, journalists and people from different walk of life attended the condolence reference at the Peshawar Press Club.

Marastiyal commended the efforts of Alamzeb Khan for bringing the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan closer to each other. “Our mission is common. We want to give a peaceful and prosperous future to coming generations.”